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Kitchen Queries

Welcome to Kitchen Queries, where the nigella.com team will answer your cooking or food related questions.  We’d love you to submit some of your recipe problems, dilemmas or queries for us to get our teeth into!

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Please note, we are only able to answer questions selected for publication and aren't able to enter into personal correspondence.

Latest Queries

  • Birthday Cake for a 1 year old

    What type of cake is suitable for a 1 year old? Any ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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  • Coffee Cake with Coffee Essence

    Dear Nigella Team, I recently made Nigella's coffee cake but I was out of instant of espresso so I used Camp coffee essence and it curdled. Is this normal? The cake batter curdled and so did the icing. Thanks, Jack

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  • Caster Sugar Substitute

    Hello. The recipe for Almond and Apple cake looks wonderful, but I'm not sure that I can find caster/superfine sugar in my area. What can I substitute? Thanks!

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  • Chocolate Cake Breaking Into Pieces

    I made Nigella's Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake from Feast (p269). When I checked the cake after 35 minutes of baking, there was a crack in the top and when I put the skewer into the centre it and it came out sticky, but in other parts of the cake the skewer came out perfectly clean. It seemed well baked on the whole. I let it cool under a cold fan. But the cake was very delicate, it was beaking up when I was shifting it from wire rack to plate. And after icing, when I cut it with a knife, again it was breaking into pieces. Taste wise it was very nice, soft, melting and moist. Everyone liked it. I didn't bake the cake in two separate tins, just in one tin and then cut it into halves using a thread. I baked it in a microwave convection oven. And I didn't have sour cream so I put the same quantity of single cream (thick straight from the fridge) and added some lemon juice to it. Why was the cake so fragile? Also what is the best substitute for sour cream here in Pakistan? Nazish.

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  • Almond Meal

    Hello Nigella Team!  In my country is hard to find "almond meal" so I wondered if I can make it from whole almonds? Do I just grind them? Thanks!

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  • Oven Types

    Hi! I recently got into baking and have been trying out recipes in my microwave, which doubles as an oven. Now I want to buy an actual oven just for baking (not the microwave kind) and I have gone through a lot of web sites but I am unable to decide whether to go for a traditional oven or a convection oven. Which is better for baking? Please help!

    What is the difference between a fan oven and a fan assisted oven?

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  • Cupcakes for a Wedding

    I am making 150 cupcakes for a wedding on June 9th (50 white chocolate, 50 carrot and 50 dulce de leche). How early could I make them and will they freeze OK?

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  • Cardamom Pods

    In some recipes, the use of cardamon pods is required. In general these recipes don't specify which type (green or black) to use. So which one do I use when not specified in recipes?

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